Original name, Janet Cole; born November 12, 1922, in Detroit, MI; died of aheart attack, September 11, 2002, in New York, NY. Actress. Critically acclaimed actress, Hunter had a passion for theatre, but her most popular and best-known role most likely was as the ape Dr. Zira in the feature film Planetof the Apes. Hunter first appeared on stage in 1939 in a Florida production of Penny Wise. She was soon signed to a contract by Hollywood filmproducer David O. Selznick and made her film debut in the thriller The Seventh Victim in 1943. Hunter worked steadily in films, continued to act onstage, and in 1948 made her first television appearance in Actors Studio. In 1951 she appeared in the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire in the role of Stella, a role she played on Broadway in 1947. Her performance garnered Hunter an Academy Award as best supporting actress. With such well received films as When Strangers Marry, Stairway to Heaven,and Deadline U.S.A. under her belt, Hunter was poised for a successful career. Unfortunately, she was blacklisted in Hollywood in the 1950s and did not appear in a film again until 1957. In the meantime, Hunter appeared continuously on stage in various cities throughout the U.S. Hunter gave a strongperformance in the film Lilith in 1964, but it was her role as Dr. Zira in Planet of the Apes in 1968 that brought her fame. She appeared in the two sequels as well. Though Hunter appeared in television, including astint on the soap opera The Edge of Night from 1979 to 1980, for whichshe was nominated for an Emmy Award, and in films, including appearances aslate as 1999, Hunter's true dedication was to the stage. Among her final stage performances were Greytop in Love in 1998 and the off-Broadway production of The Madwoman of Chaillot in 2001.